This interview with Mike McGrath is the first in a series of interviews with the engineers and community members working, often anonymously, behind the scenes on the OpenShift Origin Platform-as-a-Service Project. Although you see them on IRC in the OpenShift Dev room, you pepper them questions in the forums, and they hit on you for feedback, it's not often they surface and come up for air. So we're really pleased that we've managed to coerce a number of them (including Mike) to speak at upcoming OpenShift Origin Community Days and hope you'll come and meet them too!
Mike McGrath is a Principal OpenShift Architect working on the OpenShift Origin Project.
What do you see as your current role in the OpenShift Origin Community?
These days I try to tackle the difficult issues that come up. Mostly technical ones. I'm always looking for ways to be more involved with community members but unfortunately time isn't always on my side. I'm also part of the OpenShift architecture board and in that role I try to make sure to community-proof our decisions and make sure that when someone uses Origin, they can customize it as they see fit even if that's not always as we intended.
In your opinion, what makes OpenShift Origin great?
OpenShift Origin integrates several already existing technologies into a single, coherent package. Picking best of breed technologies not only makes Origin great, but our interaction with the upstreams of those technologies makes them great. It's that open source feedback loop that really makes a difference.
What makes OpenShift Origin different from other PaaSes?
Origin stands alone in PaaS for our open source values and for our adherence to proven Linux philosophies. Because of that and because of Red Hat's expertise, users don't have to know or understand Linux in order to get the benefits from it. The OpenShift admins, however, do know how powerful this tech is. It can take an incredibly complex environment and simplify it in almost unimaginable ways. Our multi-tenant model is second to none. On top of that, we don't lock users in to some proprietary language or architecture, migrating away from OpenShift is not intimidating, this gives devs and ops the flexibility they want in a PaaS.
What's next on the roadmap for OpenShift Origin?
In the last year we've announced Enterprise and pricing. Very soon we'll be launching an official paid offering in online. With those shifts I think we'll see two things in the future. The first is a big focus around production level applications. Things like better scale and a centralized view of the applications logs, metrics, etc. The second change will be an explosion of supported applications, languages and cartridges that run on OpenShift. Our community site has a voting page where people can vote on what they want to see and believe it or not, we actually read and discuss it!
What's the relationship of OpenShift Origin to OpenShift.com
Origin contains the community for OpenShift. It also contains most of the code. By most, I mean just about everything but we do keep some things private. For example, our tie in to RHN single sign on. Most people won't be interested in that but everything else is there. Setting up your own OpenShift Online (openshift.com) is as simple as setting up OpenShift origin. Everything is there. That also goes for wanting to make changes to OpenShift Online. Start with the origin code. Another minor distinction is that openshift.com is our actual landing site for all things origin. There, users can find out more about not just Origin and the community but also the Online and Enterprise products.
Who should come to OpenShift Origin Community Day?
Anyone who is able. No matter who you are, a developer, an admin, a devops, or anyone who has ever wanted to do something on internet, you are guaranteed to learn something. Learn how to create applications and design for a PaaS architecture. Find new ways to consolidate hundreds of developer hosts into a few. Anyone who has a product of any kind, a language, database, website, etc should come and learn how to create cartridges so they can give people easy one click access to their apps. Just come and learn.
So what are you waiting for? Sign-up for a Community Day now.
* Boston, MA: http://openshiftboston.eventbrite.com
* Mountain View, California: http://openshiftmtview.eventbrite.com
To see more of Mike in action taking about OpenShift back in the early days, check out his youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B_V_St4fAc